Natural gas plant could face penalties for spilling benzene in Colorado's Parachute Creek

PARACHUTE, Colo. - State health officials have warned the operators of a natural gas plant in western Colorado they could face penalties for a spill that has contaminated Parachute Creek with cancer-causing benzene.

According to the Denver Post, the state says the spill may be considered disposal of hazardous waste without a permit.

A hydrocarbon contamination investigation and cleanup efforts are ongoing near a Williams gas plant north of Parachute. The chemicals were first discovered in groundwater March 13.

A company spokesman says the warning was expected.